What I Eat In A Day: Intuitive Eating And Cross Training

Since giving you a look at how I eat when I’m working from home, I wanted to give you a look at how I intuitively eat on a cross training day. The day I chose was this past Monday, and Mondays happen to be the more intense of my cross training days because I do 90 minutes of exercising. About 30 minutes of strength training and an hour long spin class.

According to my Garmin, between the exercise I get and the amount walking I get in on a typical Monday, I burn as many calories as my long run day! Of course, I get a lot more non-exercise steps in on Monday (between walking Vinnie, being at work and taking a lunchtime walk, I have at least 9,000 steps before working out) and I’m pretty low-key on Sundays besides my long run. So keep in mind that I’m eating more because I’m pretty active. Let’s get into the day!

Breakfast

I’m working on a couple of seasonal oatmeal recipes so I’ve been experimenting lately. This morning, I made a couple of final tweaks to my apple pie oatmeal (recipe coming this weekend) and it was delicious! I also had my usual giant cup of coffee (with peanut butter cup creamer) with my oatmeal and two glasses of water while making breakfast and packing my food for the day.

Lunch

I had made stuffed bell peppers for Saturday night’s dinner and brought one in along with a salad for my lunch. These stuffed peppers are so delicious and have a good amount of vegetables since there’s cauliflower in there instead of rice.

I’m not counting calories of course but I have a rough estimate of my calorie intake throughout the day just from years of calorie counting. Which is how i knew I probably had enough wiggle room for some baked treats at work. And that I would need them based on the food I had packed for the day...I need to do a better job of thinking through what I bring to eat on Mondays since I constantly feel like I’m not bringing enough). So I had two zucchini brownies a co-worker had brought in (they were amazing!)

Pre-Workout

It was a good thing i had those zucchini brownie because the only thing I brought in to eat before my workouts was a Larabar! Which is my usual pre-workout snack but I like to add in an apple too for Mondays since I don’t get home from spin class until almost 7 p.m. But with the brownies after lunch, the Larabar worked perfectly to keep me fueled during weights and spin class.

And during my workouts, I was of course drinking Nuun. Today’s flavor was Lemon Lime and after drinking plain water all day long at work it was so nice to have some flavored water. By the time I got done with spin class, I had finsihed off the Nuun. There were some really tough climbing sections in today’s class that got my heart rate up fast and staying there!

Dinner

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I always combine my post-workout and dinner into one meal on Mondays. I don’t get home from spin class until almost 7 p.m. so I’m pretty hungry by the time I get home and done shower. So the easiest way for me to get in a good ratio of carbs, protein and fats is a nice big smoothie bowl. I had mixed frozen fruit, spinach and protein powder blended together for this one and then topped with mini chocolate chips and sweetened coconut flakes.

After dinner, it was getting close to 8 p.m. So I settled in with Vinnie and my tea on the couch while Mike got in his workout at the apartment gym. Having a full day of work followed by some intense exercise really wears me out so I got my meditation in and was ready for bed by a little bit after 9 p.m.


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Random thoughts about running in the dark

With the time change, it’s been getting darker a lot earlier in Minnesota. Right now, the sun sets at about 4:45 p.m. (and getting earlier) so I’m having all my weekday runs end after sunset. Which is actually pretty interesting. I’ve written about how I stay safe running in the dark in an earlier post but today is about how I’m enjoying running in the dark.

When I’ve been out on my runs, it feels like I’m running in a completely new place even though I’m on my normal running routes. But everything looks so different in the changing light. It’s even different looking from when I was running before and during sunrise. For me, it’s enough of a difference to feel like I’m mixing up my runs which is helping me stay on track between training cycles.

I’m also finding that I’m more in tuned with my body on these runs. I’ve found myself lengthening my stride and remembering to check in with how my body is feeling. Almost like the outside distractions are taken away in the dark so I’m concentrating more on how my body feels. And, not surprising, I’ve found my pace picking up as I’m paying more attention to running form.

But what I’m most looking forward to is the Christmas lights to be turned on (once we are past Thanksgiving). I’m not a huge Christmas song fan but I love seeing Christmas lights. So hopefully in December I’ll start seeing all the lights and decorations at people’s houses. Of course, it would help too if we have some snow staying on the ground.

Do you enjoy running in the dark too? Let me know in the comments!

How do I dress to run in a Minnesota winter?

Winter running weather has come to Minnesota so I want to give you a brief overview of kind of how I dress for winter weather. I've noticed this year that I'm becoming more used to running with less layers on it than in previous years so I'm switching up what I'm wearing and in what temperatures.

Base layer

This is what I wear in  temperatures below 40 degrees or so, depending on when and if the sun is out or not.  Of course running tights, which I have a couple of pairs that I love that are little bit longer so I can pull them over the tops of my shoes to keep out wind or snow.

I either wear a long sleeve shirt or a running jacket on top just depending again on the wind speed and if it's sunny outside or not. One thing I do love with my tops is having thumbholes because my sleeves don't ride up and down and it’s an extra layer over the top of my hands.

I also usually have a headband on and a pair of gloves. It really depends on again if it's windy outside or if it's cloudy or getting dark. One thing of course with all my layers is that I make sure to buy everything in as bright of colors as possible even though I like my running tights are black they have bright swashes of color on them and of course all my running jackets are either light colors or bright neon colors. And if I am running outside in the dark I do throw on my headlamp which I haven't done yet but with daylight savings time I'm going to have to start doing that.

Mid layers

When it gets into the high teens, I usually add on a second layer on top so I”m wearing a running jacket and a long sleeved shirt. This keeps me a little bit warmer (even though I’m finding I warm up quickly on the run now) and gives me an extra layer over my hands thanks to the thumbhole sleeves.

I also switch from the headband to a hat at this point. Mainly because it helps protect the back of my neck more (especially nice if it’s windy) and it keeps in the heat from my head.

Final layers

This is when it’s getting close to zero outside and at that point where I’m considering switching over to the treadmill (which is usually at temperatures below zero). In addition to everything else, I add on thermal fleece top on top (as my bottom layer) and throw on a second pair of gloves or mittens. I”ll also add on a buff if it’s windy outside to protect my face.

I usually don’t do a second layer on my bottom, just because I find that I warm up enough without it. Probably because my lower body is doing all the work of getting me moving in the cold!

And that’s how I get through running in a Minnesota winter! Let me know in the comments your go-to layers for running in the winter (or when you start hitting the treadmill)?

Keeping Safe While Running

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It's not a fun thing to think about but it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to running. Especially when we are doing solo runs or in a new area. Here's a couple of things I do to make myself (and my husband) less worried when I head out on a run.

Let someone track your workouts

I use the RoadID app on almost every single run so that Mike knows where I am on my run and if he's not home, he knows when I get done with my run. I just set an e-crumb that's sent to him and away I run. One time, it even helped him come rescue me in the car when I got caught in a sudden downpour and had to seek shelter.

We've also used it during my longer races so Mike knows where I am when taking photos. It's a lot more reliable than text notifications from the race (if they are offered) plus it doesn't drain my battery too much. Since Mike's planning on biking along the marathon course I'm not sure if we'll use it or not.

Be obnoxiously visible

Every single run I go out on, I put on the brightest clothes possible. It makes me feel more visible to cars (and everyone else around me) plus I won't get too overheated in the summer. I still make sure to triple check when I'm crossing a road or driveway (because some drivers don't) but I feel wearing neon makes me stand out more.

And, of course, if it's dark outside I will always put on my headlamp and blinker light. Even though the area I run in by our apartment is lit, I don't trust cars or bikes to see me just by street lamps. It doesn't always work, I did have my headlamp on when I bike going the wrong way down the path almost ran straight into me but that's the only close call I've had.

Pay attention to your surroundings

This is probably my biggest tip to everyone, whether you are walking, running or biking outside. Pay attention to what's going on around you. That means you might need to turn down your music and concentrate a little bit less on what's going on in your mind. But there are tons of times where I've seen other people staring at their phone just walk across a street without looking or I've had to dodge people not paying attention and weaving side to side across the path.

What are some was you keep safe on your runs?